FASHION / The pleasures and perils of a French country garden
Sunday 07 August 1994
Five years ago Valentine de Ganay organised a similar happening in the grounds of the chateau, and has wanted to stage another ever since. 'This is a great place for people to express themselves in a different environment. I hate those kind of arty ghettos. And people don't go to galleries and museums so much anymore. People are bored by those places. Therefore it is great to ask artists to do their work in a place completely off the wall like Courances. My only rule was that each artist should do something he or she couldn't do elsewhere. They chose their place. Then we discussed the conception of the pieces together.'
Over 20 artists participated. Australians, Americans, Britons and, of course, Parisians. The prime movers included shoemaker Christian Louboutin, designer Mattia Bonnetti, artist Rachid Koraichi, landscape artist Pascal Cribier, American conceptual artist Joseph Kosuth, and sculptress Muriel Pulitzer. Wooden rabbits clustered around the Delphic columns. Margolaine Degremont's abstract mobiles lolled on the lily pond, the rainbow-spewing prisms along the ornamental waterways were installed by David Boeno, and Liz Stirling created a crinoline swing. As the night wore on there was a shadow theatre in the Japanese garden.
The guests came mostly from the worlds of art and fashion and dressed accordingly. Breaking with tradition, they were actually encouraged to outdo the bride: Agathe de Ganay, the bride's cousin, went for a cheeky pink Coppelia look; Suzanne Aichinger, who models for Christian Lacroix, chose a mixture of Indian and North African prints; the hostess wore John Galliano topped off with a ramshackle Marie Antoinette wig; but most eyecatching of all was the line of statues, dressed in a crinolines by the Melbourne designer Martin Grant, which swept away from the house down towards the piece de resistance, Hercules in a hooped-skirt. He even lit up at night.
Towards midnight, the proceedings moved indoors to a drawing-room finale - Don Baretto's Cuban combo. Valentine had insisted on her guests taking perfunctory samba lessons in advance, and by 2am the room was filled with wild, swaying dancers. After the party was over, the chateau reverted to its more dignified role: though it is still home to the de Ganay family, it is also open to the public, who tour the grounds bearing camcorders, shepherded along by a respectful villager.
Life & Style blogs
No, a porn star wasn't tricked into performing a sex act on her brother
What do the emojis on Snapchat mean?
A nap a day could save your life
Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
The antidote to Tinder? Majority of dating app users want relationship, rather than hook-ups, study finds
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
'Women only' train carriages: Jeremy Corbyn unveils radical move to tackle public harassment
Black holes are a passage to another universe, says Stephen Hawking
Iain Duncan Smith 'should resign over disability benefit death figures', says Jeremy Corbyn
Stock up on canned food for stock market crash, warns former Gordon Brown adviser
Tony Blair attacks Jeremy Corbyn's 'Alice In Wonderland' politics
- 1 Caitlyn Jenner car crash: Driver who died in collision sued by surviving passengers for $18.5m
- 2 Pictures show young Palestinian girl biting Israeli soldier trying to detain boy during West Bank protests
- 3 Watch the Supermoon live: How to see the brightest Moon of the year tonight
- 4 Hulk Hogan wants to be Donald Trump's running mate in the US Presidential election
- 5 Blood Moon and Supermoon: September to bring brightest – and dimmest – full Moon of the year on same night
£18000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Executive or Senior Sal...
£40000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This industry leading company produces h...
£20000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT provider for the educat...